Today's Headlines and Commentary

Today’s Headlines and Commentary

By Katherine Pompilio
Thursday, May 12, 2022, 2:59 PM

Subscribe to receive this newsletter directly to your inbox.

A Human Rights Watch report revealed that Russian forces have used at least six different types of cluster munitions in attacks carried out during their invasion of Ukraine, reports the Washington Post. According to the report, Russia's use of cluster munitions has caused hundreds of civilian casualties. The use of the weapons also violates international bans on indiscriminate weapons. While the total number of cluster attacks committed by the Russians is currently unknown, Human Rights Watch found that hundreds of cluster munition attacks against Ukrainians have been reported or documented since the beginning of the war

Palestinian American journalist Shireen Abu Akleh was shot and killed in the West Bank, writes the New York Times. The Al Jazeera journalist was reportedly shot in the head while reporting on an Israeli military operation in Jenin. While the Israeli military originally claimed that Abu Akeh’s death was “most likely” caused by “Palestinian armed gunfire,” an anonymous Israeli official recently reported that the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) have launched an investigation into whether the fatal shot was fired by a member of the IDF. The official reported that the IDF was investigating an alleged exchange of gunfire between Israeli soldiers and Palestinian men close to the location where Abu Akeh was killed, an exchange which inferred was “more probable to be involved in the death of Shireen.”   

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un ordered a nationwide lockdown amid the country’s first reported outbreak of the coronavirus, according to AP. Kim’s order marks the first time North Korea has acknowledged the spread of the coronavirus within its borders since the start of the pandemic. The North Korean leader ordered a lockdown of cities and counties and the isolation of workplaces by unit to help slow the spread of the virus. Kim also urged health care workers to increase disinfection efforts in common spaces as well as mobilize reserve medical supplies. 

The U.S. coronavirus death toll has surpassed 1 million, writes ABC News. In a statement, President Joe Biden announced the “tragic milestone” and urged grieving Americans to remain vigilant against the pandemic to save as many lives as possible. Biden is also reportedly planning to order flags nationwide half-staff in remembrance of the lives lost to the virus. 

A bipartisan group of senators introduced legislation that would create a Space National Guard within the U.S. Space Force, reports the Hill. Sens. Diane Feinstein and Marco Rubio announced the Space National Guard Establishment Act, which would transfer the 1,000 National Guard troops that currently work on space-related missions within the Air Force to work over at the Space Force. In a press release, Sen. Feinstein wrote that a National Guard component for the Space force would “save money and ensure a smoother process in the event we need to activate personnel.”

Astronomers have released the first image of the supermassive black hole at the center of the Milky Way galaxy, writes CNN. While black holes themselves do not emit light, the image shows the shadow of the hole—known as Sagittarius A—surrounded by a ring of bright light. According to astronomers’ estimates, Sagittarius A is approximately 4 million times larger than our sun. 

ICYMI: Yesterday on Lawfare

Jen Patja Howell shared an episode of the Lawfare Podcast in which Benjamin Wittes spoke with Dmytro Kuzubov about his work as a Ukrainian cultural journalist before the war, and about how everything has changed during the war in Kharkiv. 

Max Smeets discussed the United Kingdom’s attempt to become a responsible cyber power. 

Alvaro Marañon posted the Five Eyes’s cybersecurity advisory on cyberthreats to managed service providers and their customers. 

Howell also shared an episode of Rational Security in which Quinta Jurecic and Scott R. Anderson were joined by Wittes to discuss the week’s big national security news stories including recent revelations that former Chief of Staff Mark Meadows played an integral role in leading efforts to overturn the results of the 2020 elections in the lead up to the Jan. 6 insurrection. 

Email the Roundup Team noteworthy law and security-related articles to include, and follow us on Twitter and Facebook for additional commentary on these issues. Sign up to receive Lawfare in your inbox. Check out relevant job openings on our Job Board.